Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are usually “premises liability” claims, where the victim holds the property owner or occupier liable for their injuries. Slip and fall accidents are different from trip and fall accidents, the legal consequences are distinct. Stracci Law Group, headquartered in Crown Point, Indiana, can help you with either type of claim.
Trip and Falls vs. Slip and Falls - What’s The Legal Difference?
The most critical differences between slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents are (i) how the accident happens and (ii) the type of injuries you are likely to sustain. Superficially, the leading cause of slips, trips, and falls is poor floor conditions.
More insightfully, the most common cause of slips, trips, and falls is human error. Ultimately, however, the difference between slip, trip, and fall accidents is the direction in which you fall. Common injuries from slips, trips, and falls differ according to the type of accident that caused them.
Common Slip and Fall Causes and Injuries
In a slip and fall accident, some factor, based in negligence by another person, causes you to lose your footing and strike the floor or a nearby object as you fall. Common causes for slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors,
- Icy parking lots,
- Unsafe ladders, and
- Loose floorboards.
This list is far from exhaustive. Because slip and fall accidents usually cause you to pitch backward, not forward, the most common injuries are from the back, not the front. They include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Broken or dislocated hip, especially in elderly victims;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Broken arm or shoulder;
- Strained back;
- Elbow injuries;
- Fractured tailbone;
- Ruptured discs; and
- Sprained ankles or wrists.
You are just as likely to injure yourself trying to break your fall than from the fall itself.
Common Trip and Fall Causes and Injuries
In a trip-and-fall accident, your movement is partially blocked by a raised object, causing you to stumble and often fall forward, hitting the ground or another object as you fall. Some of the most common causes of trip and fall accidents include:
- Uneven floor surfaces and pavements,
- Loose stairway railings,
- Door frames,
- Clutter on the floor,
- Bad lighting, and
- Furniture that juts out into a hallway.
In a trip and fall accident, an object stops your foot, but the rest of your body continues its forward motion, causing you to pitch forward. Typical injuries include:
- Broken noses and other facial injuries;
- A fractured hand, wrist, arm, or shoulder;
- A sprained thumb;
- Brain injury (in the front of your head rather than the back),
- Sprained ankles and knees, and
- Torn ligaments.
This list is far from exhaustive.
What Should I Do After a Trip/Slip and Fall Accident in Indiana?
Slip, trip, and fall accidents typically occur suddenly with little or no warning. If your slip and trip injuries are serious enough to merit compensation, you need to take certain actions after the accident to preserve the value of your claim:
- Notify the property owner;
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries;
- Seek immediate medical attention;
- Get contact details of witnesses;
- Retain an attorney; and
- Keep your mouth shut about the accident, except to your attorney. Don’t post about the accident on social media.
Take these actions as soon as your condition allows.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Slip or Trip and Fall Case
Slips, trips, and falls injuries range from mild sprains to fatal injuries. Often the fault for the accident lies with the owner of the property where the accident occurred. You can use injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls to calculate the value of your personal injury claim. Your damages might include compensation for:
- Present and projected future medical expenses;
- Lost earnings while you were in the hospital or off work;
- Incidental expenses such as child care expenses;
- Pain and suffering; and
- In rare cases, punitive damages.
Wrongful death claims trigger a different set of damages.
Take Prompt Action
If you have suffered a slip and fall or a trip and fall accident, you need to move quickly. Stracci Law Group can help you evaluate your claim and win generous compensation. Retain a slip, trip, and fall lawyer, or schedule a free consultation by calling (219) 525-1000 or by completing our online contact form. We serve clients throughout Northwest Indiana.